Prevalence of Bacteremia in Febrile Patients With Sickle Cell Disease: Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies
OBJECTIVE:Pneumococcal vaccination has decreased the bacteremia rate in both the general pediatric and sickle cell disease (SCD) populations. Despite this decrease, and an increasing concern for antibiotic resistance, it remains standard practice to obtain blood cultures and administer antibiotics in all febrile (>38.5Â°C) patients with SCD. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available studies of the prevalence of bacteremia in febrile patients with SCD. METHODS:We searched the medical literature up to November 2018 in PUBMED, EMBASE, and Web of Science with terms epidemiology, prevalence, bacteremia, and sickle cell anemia. We only included studies with patients after 2000, when the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate (PCV7) vaccine became widely available. The prevalence of bacteremia [95% confidence interval (CI)] was calculated by dividing the number of positive blood cultures by the number of febrile episodes. The I statistic measured heterogeneity between prevalence estimates. Bias in our studies was quantified by the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. RESULTS:Our search identified 228 citations with 10 studies meeting our inclusion/exclusion criteria. The weighted prevalence of bacteremia across all studies was 1.9% (95% CI, 1.22%-2.73%), and for Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteremia, it was 0.31% (95% CI, 0.16%-0.50%). Risks for bacteremia except central lines could not be determined because of the low prevalence of the outcome. CONCLUSIONS:There appears to be a need to develop a risk stratification strategy to guide physicians to manage febrile patients with SCD based on factors including, but not limited to, history and clinical examination, vaccination status, use of prophylactic antibiotics, laboratory values, likely source of infection, and accessibility to health care.